Key conservatives expressed frustration at what they saw as an inevitable vote that would yield none of the budget cuts they have sought. Some are advising party leaders to simply offer a clean debt limit increase, with no demands attached, and shift to new battles.
“They’re just going to go through the motions anyway, and then whatever ideas conservatives put out there are going to be blamed for whatever standoff” occurs, said Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.). “So let’s just avoid the theater and move on.”
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said there was little appetite for continuing the fight. “When you set up the chessboard the same way and play the same match enough times … you know how it comes out. Little kids might like to keep playing that same game, but it’s not interesting,” he said.
Even as they suggested that course, both congressmen said they would not vote for a clean bill.